Best Circa 90's CDP

Hi friends,

I am looking for a short list of the best CDP from the 90's era. I own a few hundred Redbook CD's that I want to enjoy again. I am very nostalgic about the nineties as that's when I first got into the hobby. 

Thanks for your recommendations in advance. 






Sony SCD-1 also plays SACD.

Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 98 was a Dutch-modified Marantz CD player that had favorable reviews.

Forgot to mention the Mark Levinson 39 CD player.  Came out in the '90s and upgraded to the 390S in the 2000s.

if you can find a denon 3560 (or the lesser 2560) it's a helluva player--massively overbuilt, with xlr and variable outs. the much cheaper, less formidable-looking rotel 855 is also pretty great.

A modded Magnavox I thought was the thing to have. I think they replaced the opamps or something like that, but the Op amps they replaced them with (5535A) may no longer be made.


I had the previously mentioned Sony SCD-1 that was modded to Vacuum State Level 5. That was a killer rig and even today could compete with the very best. It lacked in some details to today’s DACs but what a great musical presentation.

However, after 20+ years that machine died and cannot really be fixed easily. I would not buy a SCD-1 due to parts issues.

I plan on getting a very expensive DAC in the future. There is a $3k or $6k upgrade option to add a CD/SACD tray to this DAC. This DAC is made from the same guy involved with the Sony SCD-1.

While I waited to raise cash for this DAC I wanted to play my CD/SACD and got this.

GeerFab Audio D.BOB Digital BreakOut Box – Upscale Audio ( I paid under $700)


This device takes the HDMI SACD DSD output from my used $250 Oppo player and sends it to the D.BOB. The D.BOB processes the DSD and sends it to my Benchmark DAC3B via DSD over PCM (I think). The DAC3B is hooked up to my preamp. The sound is fantastic, better in some ways to the SCD-1 though the modded SCD-1 had some musical magic that is hard to find anywhere.

I have no intention of getting that SACD disc playback option in the new DAC I am looking at.